The Headshot Dilemma: “What Do I Do With My Hands?”

May 1, 2024

The number one question I get asked during my photo sessions is, ‘What do I do with my
hands?’ To help you rock that perfect pose, I’ve put together a few handy tips and tricks (see
what I did there?).

But first, let’s talk about why hand placement matters.
Whether you’re going for a casual vibe or a more polished look, your hand position can make or
break the overall composition of your headshot. They have a hand, too much perhaps, in
adding personality to your photos. Where they’re placed can help express confidence,
professionalism, friendliness … you get the idea. So, let’s let your hands do the talking.

Here are my go-to poses for a relaxed and natural headshot:

(Examples of all of these are included below!)

  1. Hands on Hips: Placing both or one hand on your hips says, ‘I’ve got this!’ Just stand tall,
    loosen up your shoulders, and let your fingertips rest on your hips or waist. This pose
    adds structure while keeping your hands visible and engaged.
  2. Crossed Arms: While crossed arms can sometimes give a closed-off vibe and may not
    work for everyone, they do convey confidence and authority. My suggestion? Keep your
    arms loose and relaxed for a friendlier, more approachable look.
  3. Hands in Pockets: For a more casual and relaxed impression, place one hand in your
    pocket with your thumb out. This pose works well for portraying approachability and
  4. Gesture: Adding a subtle gesture can really amp up your headshot game with some
    extra personality and flair. Maybe give a light touch to your chin or casually toss your
    hair, it’s all about adding that little extra something.
  5. The Power of Props: Props can be your best friend during a headshot session, especially
    when it comes to hand placement. Holding a prop like a notebook, phone, or mug can
    give your hands something to do, resulting in a more natural and engaging pose.
  6. Hand on Chin: This one is all about getting that soft, thoughtful, introspective vibe!
    Simply place one hand gently under your chin. Just remember, don’t hide too much of
    your face with your hand, we still want to see your winning smile!
  7. Walking Pose: Let’s “Shake it Off” like Taylor Swift and add some movement! Take a
    step forward, leading with one foot, and let your arms swing naturally by your sides. I’ll
    have you walk towards me and dip towards the camera, and maybe even laugh out
    loud! Sound confusing? It’s not, I promise, and you’ll be “Enchanted” with the

“Gorgeous” results. (Sorry, Swiftie here). Seriously though, this pose is very dynamic and
will add energy and personality to your photos.

There you have it!
Just remember to relax your hands and keep your fingers loose. And you’re not alone; you have
the expertise of your photographer to guide you every step of the way, “Forever & Always”. (I’ll
stop now).

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